Billy Root, brother of England star Joe, signs to play cricket for Suffolk

Billy Root (left) and brother Joe

Billy Root (left) and brother Joe - Credit: PA

Embracing his brother at Lord’s after he completed a century against Australia was one of the iconic images of last summer’s Investec Ashes Series. Now Billy Root, younger brother of England batsman Joe Root, is aiming to showcase his own talents for Suffolk.

Root, who has been registered to play for Suffolk in this season’s re-named Unicorns KO Trophy, met and trained with his new team mates for the first time at the Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds recently.

The 21-year-old was recommended by the county’s player-coach Simon Guy, who he plays alongside for Sheffield Collegiate and who drove him down to Suffolk.

Root, who spent two years on the MCC groundstaff at Lord’s, said: “Simon Guy asked if I would be interested in playing Minor Counties cricket and I said I would love to.

“He told me a little bit about what to expect, but I know it is a good competition and Suffolk usually do well, so I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to come down and give it a go.

“A lot of good players have come through the Minor Counties set-up and played first-class cricket – Alex Hales, for example, was at Bucks – and there are a lot of ex-pros, so it is a good standard of competition.”

Root, who is due to start a three-year degree in sports business management at Leeds Metropolitan University in September, had not met any of his new team mates apart from Guy prior to his first training session.

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He said: “It was a really good training session and I was very impressed with the standard of what I saw.”

Root, who was touchingly photographed hugging his older brother after Joe’s century in the Second Test at the home of cricket last July, has already played for four different counties at 2nd XI level as he seeks a breakthrough onto the first-class circuit.

He said: “I spent some time with Leicestershire in the winter, but I am not sure where they are going to go with that, and last week I played for Nottinghamshire at Loughborough.

“They may be interested in having a look at me for a period of time, but I shall have to wait and see.”

Root, a left-handed batsman and off-spin bowler, said that being Joe’s younger brother was a help, rather than a hindrance, as he tries to make his way in the game.

He said: “Absolutely it helps me. There are all sorts of questions I can ask him if I am struggling with my game. He knows me better than anyone, so what better position to be in?”

Billy admitted Joe’s success spurs him on and hopes he can one day emulate his brother’s achievements.

“It would be nice, but you have to prove yourself – you can’t dream too much, you have to keep your feet on the ground and play what is in front of you,” he said.

Root is expected to make his competitive debut for Suffolk in their opening Unicorns KO Trophy Group 2 game against Hertfordshire at Ipswich School on Sunday, April 27.

Factfile

Full name: William Thomas Root

Born: August 5, 1992

Birthplace: Sheffield, Yorkshire

Major teams: Leicestershire 2nd XI, MCC Young Cricketers, Nottinghamshire 2nd XI, Worcestershire 2nd XI, Yorkshire 2nd XI

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right arm off-break

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